Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels recently told an interviewer that Democrats have no sense of humor. The imbroglio over Jerry Seinfeld’s choice of comedians to appear on his (really cool) show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee proves his point, I think.
Seinfeld was asked about why his show has mostly white dudes on it.
“People think it’s the census or something, it’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares?” Seinfeld said in response. “Funny is the world I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested.”
“I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that,” he added. “But everyone else is kind of, with their calculating — is this the exact right mix? I think that’s — to me it’s anti-comedy. It’s more about PC-nonsense.”
That seems reasonable. Seinfeld is a white guy. He sees the world through a white guy lens. He has white guy friends. So, the people on the show are white guys. That doesn’t mean he’s racist. It means he’s normal.
I don’t remember there being a controversy over Jim Carey being the token white guy on In Living Color. I don’t even remember thinking about it back when I watched the show. It was hilarious. The racial makeup didn’t matter.
So why do people get so up in arms about this sort of thing?
It’s as though some people believe there should be an entitlement for time on Seinfeld’s show. They seem to think that if white people get a certain percentage of the show, blacks of Hispanics or someone else should also get a certain percentage, all reflective of our population demographics as a whole.
Which is ridiculous. Seinfeld’s show isn’t about hitting the right racial mix. It’s about Jerry Seinfeld and who he thinks would be entertaining to have a cup of coffee with (which has included two black guys, Chris Rock and Mario Joyner, as well as two women, Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman). And, so far, it’s been pretty entertaining as just about everything Seinfeld does is.
What Seinfeld has found himself ensnared in is this left-wing idea that outcomes, rather than opportunities, must be equal. The believe that an outcome which favors one demographic or another must be the result of some sort of bias, be it conscious or unconscious, and thus criticized and undone by some sort of affirmative action policy. The gender pay gap can’t just be about the choices men and women make in their careers. It has to be about some patriarchal conspiracy to keep women down. Black achievement gaps aren’t about social issues within the black community itself.
It’s racism, and anyone questioning that is racist too.
But what’s next? Are we going to start complaining about the dearth of white dudes in the NBA?